LWF -- Transition in Communion... and Beyond


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In 1997, the Lutheran World Federation launched its first web presence. More than ten years later, in 2008, an international consultation outlined its future direction : a tighter institutional web site and at WWW.LUTHERANWORLD.ORG and a Communio Garden to integrate Lutheran-related web resources.

Now, in 2010, the new institutional web site has been launched at last! It is still a work in progress, but it’s moving along. Furthermore, the team has been working on the first drafts and mockups of the Communio Garden.

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LWF -- Transition in Communion... and Beyond

  1. 1. Transition in Communion – and Beyond The LWF Web Presence – 1997–2010+ June 2010 update The Lutheran World Federation
  2. 4. The LWF Web Presence <ul><li>First site created for the 1997 LWF Assembly in Hong Kong, China; very limited content. </li></ul><ul><li>First full site in 1999 . </li></ul><ul><li>Redesigned and expanded in 2002 </li></ul>
  3. 5. Towards a New Web Site <ul><li>Issues: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Limited staffing and budget; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Static Web site, difficult to upgrade . </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Requests: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Better reflect the “Communion” aspect of LWF; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Easier updating, especially of content; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Enhanced tools. </li></ul></ul>
  4. 6. Towards a New Web Site <ul><li>The LWF Web Task Force </li></ul><ul><ul><li>14 Web, Internet and IT specialists, representing all seven LWF Regions, plus World Service Field Programs. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Feedback on the Web Site and a few reports on structure and engine. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The LWF Web Roundtable </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Task Force Members and other IT and Web experts from the Communion met in Geneva to discuss the future of the web site. </li></ul></ul>
  5. 7. The Web Roundtable said… <ul><li>“ Communio Garden” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>One portal to rule them all … </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Institutional Web Site </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Tighter, better, stronger </li></ul></ul>
  6. 8. What the LWF Did… <ul><li>Hire a Web consultant; </li></ul><ul><li>Revisit Web strategy in view of Roundtable result; </li></ul><ul><li>New institutional Web site; </li></ul><ul><li>Plans for the Communio Garden. </li></ul>
  7. 9. Institutional Site <ul><li>Early beta: Summer 2009 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>improved in parallel with then-current web site </li></ul></ul><ul><li>May 2010 : soft launch </li></ul><ul><ul><li>only available in English (with news releases also in German) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>some content only visible via dirty hacks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>some content only on the static web site </li></ul></ul>
  8. 10. Institutional Site <ul><li>Big push to place remaining content on the new site </li></ul><ul><ul><li>some content will still only be accessible via dirty hacks for a while… </li></ul></ul>
  9. 12. Institutional Site Powered by Wordpress <ul><li>Pros: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Easy to use; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Large community; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Flexible and poweful; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Free, open-source blog engine. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Cons: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Not that flexible; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Does not play too well with legacy content. </li></ul></ul>
  10. 13. Lessons learned <ul><li>It always takes longer than planned </li></ul><ul><ul><li>MUCH longer… </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Planning to adapt the content at the same time was a mistake; </li></ul><ul><li>Legacy content (News, Member Church directory) are a big problem; </li></ul><ul><li>Wordpress is incredibly flexible – to a certain extent. </li></ul>
  11. 14. The way ahead <ul><li>Adding missing functionalities </li></ul><ul><ul><li>For example: Member Churches directory </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Staff training; </li></ul><ul><li>Reorganizing the content; </li></ul><ul><li>Cleaning up the code for easier maintenance </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Wordpress motto: “Code is Poetry” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>LWF Web site is very bad poetry… </li></ul></ul>
  12. 15. Nurturing the Communion – The Communio Garden Status update 2008-2010
  13. 16. Communio Garden <ul><li>Behind the Communio Garden : 2008 Web Roundtable </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ How can the LWF online presence become an authentic expression of a communion of churches: spiritual, sacramental, confessional, witnessing and serving?” </li></ul></ul>
  14. 17. Communio Garden Basics <ul><li>Single Web platform; </li></ul><ul><li>Share content; </li></ul><ul><li>Link existing online communities; and </li></ul><ul><li>Strengthen online presence . </li></ul>
  15. 18. Communio Garden Features <ul><li>Search engine for Lutheran-related Web pages, images and other resources. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>User-contributed referencing, commenting and ranking (“Digg for Lutherans”). </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Digital Asset Management platform to share images and other resources. </li></ul><ul><li>Website creation and hosting services for member churches or field offices. </li></ul>
  16. 19. Communio Garden Project <ul><li>Project submitted to the Edith & Godtfred Kirk Christiansen’s Foundation (a.k.a “Lego Foundation”); </li></ul><ul><li>Early approval; </li></ul><ul><li>Prototype developed by Danmarks Kirkelige Mediecenter (DKM). </li></ul>
  17. 22. Communio Garden <ul><li>Future steps </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Hopefully by the end of 2010 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Work on the web creation/hosting tool in 2011 </li></ul></ul>